A man uses Snapchat on an iPhone
A man uses Snapchat on an iPhone

Snapchat update: App to undergo huge overhaul of chat features

The company is introducing audio calling, better video calling and a load of other new features in an attempt to take on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 29 March 2016 17:13

Snapchat is undergoing a huge overhaul of its chat features in an attempt to make it take on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

The company is about to launch a new update that will bring a range of new features to its “chat” tab, according to BuzzFeed. That feature has been inside the app for some time — but has been left mostly neglected, and limited largely to text chat.

Until now, the company has mostly focused on sending single snaps, with people replying to each of those individual posts if they wish to start a conversation. But the company seems to be looking to emphasise the chat tool much more, as a way of breaking into what is becoming a huge market for messaging apps.

The company will be introducing new audio and video chat options, for instance. The company has had video chat for some time, but has made it more obvious to use. It will also add audio chats similar to phone calls for the first time.

The company is also launching a series of stickers — ready-made reactions and pictures that can be sent to friends within chat. Those are available within most existing chat apps and offer an easy way to make more money — many of the sites offer extra stickers with in-app charges, and Snapchat has long been looking for a way to make more money from its service.

Within the chat tab, it will also start to allow people to send “Video Notes”, according to BuzzFeed. Those will be taken similar to video snaps, but will be sent within the messaging service and will loop around forever.

They will also be joined by Audio notes, which will work the same but without the video part.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments